High Team Performance and Getting the Basics Right
Recently I have been conducting research amongst my client base (and beyond) on the leadership challenges currently being faced in the modern business world. Most are talking about challenges related to the economic climate and pretty much without exception, people are saying that, what is known as discretionary or non essential spend (either financial or in time), has been drastically reduced as organizations focus their efforts on surviving through a difficult period. Discretionary or non essential spend will, of course, include such things as training.
I have, however, come across one little pocket within a large organization which, against the odds, is investing a significant number of hours in developing their people and as a result, seeing team performance increase month on month.
And the reason they are able to do this, they say, is actually quite simple. The person driving the initiative has held his position a number of years (lifestyle preferences prevent him seeking further advancement by moving to other organizations or other areas of the country). Which means that he is an expert at his job, and not only that, his management team have been with him for an average of 5 years and as he says, there is no way he could invest the energy he is doing in people development if he didn’t have total confidence that his team could deliver on the day to day stuff.
And that reminded me of one of my favourite books – Coaching High Performance Teams by Grant Ledgerwood. This book draws on the rules of leadership followed by Admiral Horatio Nelson – over 200 years old but mostly still relevant today. And one of those is:-
“Practice and drill can turn every challenge into a fluent strength”
In other words, the more you repeat a task, the more expert you become. Confidence builds and eventually a high level of performance is achieved without too much thought. The more automatic the task becomes, the less conscious thinking required. This in turn leaves more brain space free for creative thoughts or quick thinking if something untoward happens. Hence, in Nelson’s day, the British fleet were able to easily fire, clean and reload their guns despite the chaos and mayhem around them during battle, simply because they had practiced endlessly in the months, even years, leading up to war.
I could see the similarities with my client whose team have spent so long together doing the day to day stuff, their energies are freed up to look for ways of being more creative and find more ways of becoming a high performing team. And I think this principle can apply not only to teams who strive for high performance, but to any of us who want to do better in any area of our lives.
Are you getting YOUR basics right to free you and your team up for pursuing peak performance?
Whether you are a business owner or other business leader, if you would like to know more about how to achieve peak performance for you and your team, please call me on (07551) 303835 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 30 minute consultation